Let's play the "what if" game

Say I had $10,000 to spend (that's the amount I recently spent on attorney's fees on litigation I had hoped could have been entirely avoided- In the last year I've been sued 3 times; 2 cases so far dismissed, crossing my fingers on case 3). Let's say I still had that $10,000 to play with.

Take a look at my system profile. Not saying you have to spend it all, or for that matter, any of it (I sure would like a week away).

Personally, I think all my stuff is at least very good, but I've had my speakers and turntable (plus arm and cartridge) and tuner each for over a decade and I get used to things and don't tend to flip major components frequently. So if there's a weakness , it's not glaring and right now I'm not really perceiving it. With good source material, I think my system sounds terrific.

Have friends who are into audio doesn't necessarily help. One fellow thinks my system sounds spacious and "locks" into my room very well. Another friend thought my system presents a great soundstage (I don't count that as one of my systems strengths) but felt the high end was a bit shut in (and yet, I've thought his system was bright). So what I took away is that different things appeal to different people. FWIW, the first friend tends to keep gear a very long time while the 2nd one is a searcher/flipper.

So with out the distraction of an audition (!) where could I improve things?

I have 2 thoughts- my phono cartridge, a Linn Arkiv B was pronounced by my Linn Dealer, in whose ears I trust, to still be in decent health, but fair is fair, and I bought it as a dealer demo at least a dozen years ago- maybe more.

My second thought are my speakers. I have heard the new Revel 208. I do believe they in fact image well, but I also think it's low end is not as voluptuous as my F30's (yet the newer speakers are no doubt tighter). Some years back I heard a pair of Wilson speakers which Knocked my socks off but I did not think them worth the asking price. FWIW, I do not at all care for a bright or tipped up sound as I'm not in the hyper detail camp.

A remote 3rd thought is to keep everything and add a JL sub. I've had a sub in the past with a pair of Magepan MG2.6R's ( had those a decade) and found that adding the sub not only increased the bass (duh) but that my soundstage took on magnificent proportions, truly extending past the speakers.

Look, music these days is my main distraction from some very rough turn of events,particularly over the last 2 years (significantly health problems with 2 surgeries - one was open heart, unfortunate domestic issues and uncertainties of work). Music allows me to forget, albeit temporarily, of these issues. So I figure, what the heck, let me enjoy my music to the max. One fortunate consequence is that these days I need not explain any purchase, audio,or otherwise, to a spouse.

So, brother and sister audio hounds, what further distraction do you recommend? As a side note, I found building my headphone amp from a kit (Kudos to Bottlehead for an excellent assembly manual) and building a line level switch box from scratch, were quite rewarding distractions).

Thank you for bearing with me and making it through this inordinately lengthy post.
768e3cdc b761 4131 ab7d b47af0995626zavato
Zavato - sounds like you are justifiably content with a great sounding system. Why not spend a couple grand on vinyl and CDs and go on vacation with the rest?
I agree with Ghosthouse, if you are relatively happy, leave well enough alone. Maybe look into dedicated lines if you do not already have them, that won't cost much. Clean all contacts, then just buy some tunes and take a vacation.
Well, you have very good stuff that seems well matched and you like what you hear, but want more it seems.

So no apparent reason to make any major change. Rather refine and maybe expand what you have, if you must.

Power conditioning on digital source gear and pre-amp usually only helps so that might be worth considering. No need to break the bank on that. I have a basic $200 monster strip that delivered improvement over nothing in my case. I like the Furman brand though and that is where I would look for something a bit more extensive if it were me.

Adding a sub or two is a good way to extend, but only if done well to properly blend in with the rest.

You have a very good amp. Is the system effortless at higher volumes, if that is of any concern? If not, more watts and current might so some good things. How about trying a pair of good 500w/ch Class D amps? They may or may not sound better to you, so only go there if you have an out just in case.
Invest into records for sure.
They grow in value faster than any real estate or any interest rate any bank can offer.
Go to live concerts of creative bands, buy their records -- chances they will increase the value.
Book a band for a party, a good band -- chip in with your buddies and keens how about that?
Travel where great music festivals are, book concerts, buy performer's records!
I can go loud enough- no need for 500 wpc. Right now at my listening
couch I can get music to over 105 dB but I really have no interest in that
any longer.

Did the dedicated line- 10 awg home run, years ago. That was a solid thing
to do. Using a Wiremold power strip long ago recommended by my Linn
(and Naim) dealer.

I like, really like, the idea of tunes and a vacation

Thank you all!
This may be a surprising response but bear with me. Let's start with the premise there's not a perfect speaker--good and even great speakers each have their particular strengths--imaging, bass response, whatever. So, changing speakers--with the caveat that they can be driven by your current electronics--gives you something completely new to listen to or for. For example, I love my Harbeths but damn, I've heard some Sonus Fabers and Dynaudios that sound great too and would work with my equipment and yet have different qualities.

And while I'm having that thought, does anyone think there are electronics that sound good if not everything, most everything? What is the most neutral universal equipment?
Well, the vacation's out. Lawyer needs another $3500 pronto .
It's been a couple months since I last chimed in. I have made a modest change in my system in that I sold the Wiremold power strip and replaced it with a Cablepro power strip. Yes, another Naim friendly power strip even though I own no Naim gear.

I've gone away- spur of the moment really, for a weekend. That was great! May go away for a weekend in November too- depends if I can plan something decent.

I've bought 15 or so LPs and maybe one or two CDs. And looking forward to getting more LPs, a few more are on their way. New speakers would be fun but discovering new music is even better. Probably going to pick up a Kallax LP rack from Ikea!
That's funny, I was going to recommend you upgrade your power strip to the Cablepro when I read that it was your most recent upgrade. You didn't really say whether you felt it made a decent improvement, but if it did, I would suggest you try one of the Audience PCs. The used prices, especially on the non-teflon versions, are stupidly low. I think that, if you're interested in listening at lower levels, which it appears you are, the Audience really lowers the noise floor and lets you better hear the space between the notes and the hall acoustics. Also - maybe I missed it, but what phono preamp are you using? I'm a big Linto fan and it would work great with your setup.
My suggestion would be to find a better room to put the system in.
Zavato, I'm sorry to hear of the difficulties, no doubt it hasn't been an easy time. But with an excellent system like that, what you hear must be indeed enjoyable. The only thing I can think of is cabling. You do have a variety of different cables and I wonder if going with a single design might give you an uptick in imaging.

I can't tell what type of design you have, but I've had great results with solid core copper, or solid core copper that's plated in silver. In my system, it's given an improvement I wasn't expecting. Kimber, Audioquest and others make this as well as an internet direct company that I went with, Morrow Audio.

Just a thought if you're itching to try something...
Hi Chayro- the Cablepro is a nice addition. Can't exactly put my finger on it, yet I do perceive a deeper musical depth. I'll look into the Audience PCs.

Using a Pass XP15 phono preamp. I'm very happy with my Pass gear.

I did pick up the IKEA Kallax today. $35 plus tax, and 15 minutes to assemble. Not bad!
Hi Runnin- at one point I did use all Analysis Plus cables. Too much of a good thing! Aside from 2 pair of Harmonic Tech Pro Silway II in XLRs, all my other ICs are home made. I use 2 sorts of cable- either Klotz (think Rega Couple- it's Klotz cable) or DH Labs BL-1 Series II. I use either Neutrik or Vampire terminations, and Cardas solder. Right now I'm listening to FM and that's wired to my INT-150 with the DH Labs/Vampire wire, which I'm very pleased with.

As for my past troubles, well, they are behind me. Truly though music helped. When I was recuperating from heart surgery, if I wasn't sleeping I was either listening to music or watching Bond movies! And Percocet helped in the first few weeks after surgery!
Hi Shakeydeal- at the moment the room I have is the room I have
I'm not trying to be mean spirited. It's just that I have heard systems in rooms similar to yours with an open floor plan and opening behind the speakers and the sound is not so great. A solid wall would be much better. Just sayin.....

It's an interesting compromise. The opening to the hall behind the speakers allows me to have the speakers closer to the back wall than I would with a solid wall behind the speakers which gives me some boundary reinforcement. Yet I also get the imaging more normally associated with speakers pushed out far more away from the back wall.

Now if you have any suggestion given my present physical parameters, I'm listening!
Good luck.
Hi Zavato,
Yes, recommendation... start with the perfect triangle set up... Meaning if your speakers are 8 ft from your ears, make them 8 ft apart, then use a full tow... On Revel F30's, point the midrange directly at your ears. This formulation helps remove the room acoustics from the picture... If you have the need, you may reduce your tow a bit, but now you have the issue of no back wall reinforcement, but I suspect as long as you don't completely remove the tow in, You will still have good results. As far as changing your equipment... feel lucky that you don't have that disgusting virus that makes you want to change everything every few month... No matter how you look at it, there is always something better. If you want a different flavor, I would consider changing speakers, but they are proven performers. They go done fairly well, but as you, a subwoofer as always improved my soundstage also, Good Luck brother, let us know how it goes, Tim
Hi Tim- good thoughts- I sit slightly father away from the speakers than the distance between the speakers. I tried having the drivers directly face me but it was just too much; from my listening position I now see the inside side panels of the speakers, but they still have some toe in. I wound up using the speaker placement guide on the cardas site to very good effect. I moved my speakers out somewhat and contrary to what I would have thought, the bass improved. Where they were might have been causing some bass cancellation.

Thankfully, I don't have the bug to change equipment several times a year. Look at my turntable- bought in 1998; look at my speakers and tuner- bought in 2000. I had my last phono pre-amp 14 years. I know there is better, and I heard it, but I know spending $ is no guarantee of anything except, spending money. I once heard a $16,000 preamp that frankly I thought was nothing special at all. I recently listened to a pair of $12,000 speakers via Shindo electronics and a Shindo 301 turntable. Yeah, it was nice. I listened to the same record at home. My system did some things better, the Shindo system did some things better.

I would be very interested in a subwoofer, and have been interested in the JL Audio F112, not too big, not too little, you know, the 3 bears. I realize that for legal reasons I probably can not buy that now as I am constrained to not incur anything but normal daily expenses (yeah, automatic orders suck). Maybe if some kind soul just gave one to me . . . . .

Not really interested in different flavor; I think I just want more tunes.

The only thing I'm seriously considering is an iPure 20 or something similar so that I can use my phone as a conduit to the world of internet radio.
So when you pickin up the sub?
Hi Tim- played around with your triangle set up- to do that I moved the speakers somewhat towards the corners and the speakers are fully toed in towards me. turns out this is a nice suggestion- when in my original location and fully toed in I didn't care for what I heard. But now spread more apart, somewhat closer to the corner, I've got a very solid soundstage, solid center definition when it's on the recording, and definitely no sense of listening to two separate speakers. The stereo illusion is workng well! Thank you!

And to Raymonda, no sub!
Hate to be Mary, Mary Quite Contrary but I suspect if you move the speakers closer together, generally speaking, of course, the soundstage will improve, better center fill and better imaging. I suggest starting with the speakers about four feet apart. Then slowly move them apart by a few inches at a time until the soundstage locks in.
4 feet apart? I'll pass